‘It’s not supposed to be this way’: Why it’s getting more difficult for foster families

Foster care asks caregivers to perform an almost impossible task: Love the child as your own, but relinquish the youth without delay or protest when social workers say the time has come. Read complete Los Angeles Times article by Contact Reporter: Garrett Therof here.

NACAC Is Offering a Webinar on the Adoption Tax Credit – February 2nd

On February 2nd at 2pm central (3pm eastern, 1pm mountain, noon pacific), NACAC’s adoption tax credit expert, Josh Kroll, will present a webinar on the federal adoption tax credit.  Participants will learn the steps they need to take to file for 2015, but it will also cover applying for the credit for adoptions as far back as 2012.  Josh will explain what parents need to do to take advantage of the credit.

The webinar is $15 for NACAC members and $20 for non-members. Payment is accepted by credit card or PayPal.

Register for the webinar here.


Scholarships available for the NACAC Conference

NACAC LogoLos Angeles County DCFS has a limited number of scholarships available for select parents and workers to attend the NACAC conference — Thursday, July 30 to Saturday, August 1, with an all-day pre-conference session by Dr. Dan Siegel on Wednesday, July 29.

Scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click here for information on all the sessions, the conference schedule.

Scholarships are open to parents who meet at least one of the following criteria:

Parent Scholarships:

  • Are adoptive parents who adopted through Los Angeles County DCFS or a Foster Family Agency serving the county
  • Are state-licensed (not certified) foster parents serving Los Angeles County
  • Are relative or non-relative extended family member (NREFM) caregivers serving children through Los Angeles County DCFS

NACAC Resource Parent Scholarship Registration Form

DCFS Staff Scholarships:

The DCFS staff scholarships are open to all staff of Los Angeles County DCFS. The scholarship covers registration fees for the pre-conference session by Dr. Dan Siegel on Wednesday, July 29, and registration for the conference on Thursday and Friday. It does not cover Saturday’s workshops or luncheon, although attendees can pay their own way to attend on Saturday if they’d like.

NACAC DCFS Staff Scholarship Registration Form


Soaring caseloads, flat funding crush dependency system

American Civil Liberties Union of California releases a new white paper called “System on the Brink.” The ACLU white paper discusses unmanageable caseloads and the dependency attorney’s moral and legal responsibility to represent their clients. An “optimal” caseload, according to the Judicial Council, is 77 per attorney.  In Los Angeles County, the dependency counsel average is over 300 caseloads per attorney. Read the complete white paper here.  Read the article summary here.

Los Angeles County Offers Equal Pay for Relative Caregivers

Grandparents raising their grandchildren full time in Los Angeles County will soon be eligible to receive additional financial support through a state program that provides funds for certain foster children living with relatives, Santa Monica area county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl announced.

Kuehl’s motion, co-authored by Supervisor Don Knabe and approved by the County Board of Supervisors this past week, instructs the Department of Children and Family Services to opt into the state’s Approved Relative Caregiver (ARC) Program by no later than June 1.

Plaintiff in landmark lawsuit against DCFS adopts her foster child on National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day 2014











DD Post Adoption Day

The voice of foster kids

 LA Times Logo150xfxJim Newton reports for the Los Angeles Times on the foster care system and why the county should include foster parents in decisions about the children in their care. Deborah Dentler discusses the grievance procedure for foster parents. Read the complete article here.

NBC4 News: Foster Parents Suing LA’s Child Welfare System

NBC4Dentler Law Office and foster parents join to sue DCFS over a violating departmental procedures, regarding lack of notification of when children will be moved or when they have court dates. Watch video reported by John Cadiz Klemack, August 6, 2014.

Advokids, et al. V. Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

Advokids Logo 412x183Press Conference: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 10:00 A.M

Location:  Hadsell Stormer, Pasadena, CA

Dentler Law Office files landmark lawsuit with Advokids against Department of Children and Family Services (“DCFS”) in the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf current and former foster parents. The lawsuit seeks an injunction and other court orders requiring DCFS to comply with its legal duties to caregivers of the County’s foster children. For more information, read Advokids full complaint, the press release, and Plaintiff story.

Press Release: Advocates for Foster Children file ground breaking lawsuit against troubled child welfare system in Los Angeles County, attacking Systematic Abuse by DCFS. (August 6, 2014)  – download here.

Advokids Complaint (August 6, 2014) – download here.

Plaintiff Heather Whelan’s Story – download here.

California Dept. of Social Services issues ‘reminder’ about the law and sharing information with caregivers in child welfare cases.

CDSS LogoThe State of California Dept. of Social Services, has issued a state-wide “reminder” to counties stressing the importance and necessity of providing accurate and timely information about foster children, their health and education needs, and their family backgrounds (among other kinds of information) to foster parents and relative caregivers.

The State’s announcement begins:

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) wishes to remind counties of the importance of sharing information with caregivers in child welfare cases. Information sharing is not only permitted under state and federal law, it is required. Giving caregivers such information better enables them to meet the needs of children and youth living in their homes.

Read the entire document here: